cover image Piece of the Action

Piece of the Action

Stephen Solomita / Author Putnam Publishing Group $22.95 (271p

The author of A Twist of the Knife and three other suspense novels starring New York City police detective Stanley Moodrow, Solomita here goes back in time, weaving a satisfying, fast-paced tale of his character's first years on the force. It's 1957, and after winning a boxing match at which he represents the police department, beat cop Moodrow is rewarded with a promotion to the rank of detective. His ``rabbi,'' or mentor, is inspector Pat Cohan, a proud Irish cop who has been on the take for years--a fact Moodrow is unaware of. Cohan allows Moodrow to court his daughter, Kathleen, and the young cop couldn't be happier--until a neighbor asks him to inquire about a homicide that the police don't seem interested in solving. Moodrow soon learns that higher-ups in the department have indeed quashed the investigation, and in his bullheaded way he pursues the few leads on his own, even though airing the complete story will tear his cozy world apart. Solomita offers a well-plotted narrative and nicely evokes New York City a generation ago. This is hard-boiled police fiction at its best. (July)